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FA Cup: Jamie Whisken targeting first round proper with Poole Town
JAMIE Whisken is dreaming of another headline-grabbing FA Cup adventure – even though his most memorable journey had a nightmare final destination.
The Poole Town centre-half was a key figure in the AFC Totton team which embarked on a high-profile run to the second round during the 2011-12 campaign.
Whisken, a former Cherries trainee, helped the Stags make history and starred in a famous 8-1 victory over Bradford Park Avenue in the first round proper.
That earned Totton a televised clash with League Two outfit Bristol Rovers as the part-timers were given the opportunity to showcase their skills to the nation. And after finding himself on the receiving end of a 6-1 defeat against Rovers, Whisken wants another crack at FA Cup glory with the Dolphins this season.
Speaking ahead of Saturday's fourth qualifying round clash at Staines Town, the 26-year-old told the Daily Echo: “The run with AFC Totton was brilliant.
“They showed all the goals from the first round on television and then decided to show us against Bristol Rovers. Honestly, I know the scoreline sounds bad, but it flattered them big time. They scored five brilliant goals from 25 yards. All in all, it was a brilliant day and it was great for the town and the club.
“It would be excellent to emulate that with Poole. Reaching the first round of the FA Cup would take it to another level and it would mean everything to all the lads and everyone involved with the club.
“Even winning the league would not get anywhere near as much publicity as getting to the first round and, possibly, getting on television. It would be excellent.”
Conference South club Staines, who play one level higher than Southern Premier outfit Poole, are managed by ex-Wimbledon star Marcus Gayle and they boast a proud cup heritage in recent seasons, having defeated Shrews-bury in 2009-10 before taking Millwall to a second round replay.
But with £12,500 in prize money up for grabs, Whisken is hoping Poole can end their 30-year wait for a place in the first round proper.
The Bournemouth-based personal trainer added: “We have got a fair few new faces this season, including four of us from AFC Totton. But we all feel confident now and we are gelling as a team.
“The best is still to come and I would like to think that it is happening at the right time when these games are coming up. We think we have a strong enough squad for Conference South and that will be tested against Staines.”
Dolphins: (from) Hutchings, Clarke, Cummings, Dibba, Whisken, Spetch, Oliver, Davies, Brooks, Elliott, Devlin, Pettefer, Charles, Byerley, Gillespie, Richardson, Turner, Parrott, Swindlehurst, Lowes, Ohameje, Thomas.
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